The Norwegian men’s national soccer team just took a major pay cut so their female counterparts could be paid the same amount.
Up until this year, the male team earned 6.55 million kroner ($818,000) in contrast to the women’s annual income of 3.1 million kroner ($387,000). Since the men’s team signed an equal-pay agreement in December, both teams are being paid equally— 6 million kroner ($750,000).
Since the men’s team has earned much of its income from commercial sponsorships – despite the fact that the team consistently performs worse than the female team in international competition – they will be donating the funds necessary for the women’s wages to rise.
The Scandinavian country believes itself to be the first nation to ever mandate equal pay for their gendered teams.
“It is very positive that Norway is a pioneer,” said Pal Bjerketvedt, NFF’s Secretary General, according to the Independent. “At the same time, this is a recognition for women’s football in general, and it’s amazing to see how much this means to the players and what enormous attention the issue has gained internationally.”
Norwegian soccer player Caroline Graham Hansen wrote a note to the men’s team on Instagram reading: “Thank you for making this step for female athletes. For showing equality and for helping us all, making it a bit easier, to chase our dreams. To make them come true!”
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